US backs adding teeth to global shark protection

January 25, 2013
A wholesale shop keeper displays shark fins in Hong Kong, 17 August 2006. The United States said Friday it would support proposals to curb the trade of five shark species and manta rays, whose numbers are declining because of demand for fins and gills.

The United States said Friday it would support proposals to curb the trade of five shark species and manta rays, whose numbers are declining because of demand for fins and gills.

"For several decades, we have been increasingly concerned about the over harvest of sharks and manta rays," US Director Dan Ashe said in a meeting at the United Nations, according to a statement.

Ashe will lead a delegation to Bangkok in March to attend a conference of parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of and Flora (CITES), which is set to consider the new measures.

"We believe that CITES is a valuable tool to address the threats posed by unsustainable global trade in and other marine species and their parts and products."

Shark fins are in high demand, particularly in Asia, where they are sought after for their culinary and medicinal value. Manta Rays are harvested for their gill plates, used in homeopathic remedies.

Trays filled with shark fins are displayed at a store in Chinatown on August 24, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The United States said Friday it would support proposals to curb the trade of five shark species and manta rays, whose numbers are declining because of demand for fins and gills.

The new restrictions would apply to manta rays and five shark species—the porbeagle, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, and oceanic whitetip—and must be approved by two-thirds of member states.

The listings would increase protection but still allow "legal and sustainable trade" in the species.

"Sharks and manta rays are extremely important to the ," said Sam Rauch, of the US .

"The global protection that CITES offers to these incredible species will complement shark measures that have been adopted regionally, and will help ensure their survival."

The convention has been signed by 177 nations, and currently offers protection to some 34,000 species worldwide.

Explore further: Ocean's fiercest predators now vulnerable to extinction

Related Stories

Ocean's fiercest predators now vulnerable to extinction

February 17, 2008

The numbers of many large shark species have declined by more than half due to increased demand for shark fins and meat, recreational shark fisheries, as well as tuna and swordfish fisheries, where millions of sharks are ...

Sharks threatened by Asian consumers, says group

March 16, 2010

(AP) -- Surging demand for shark fin soup among Asia's booming middle classes is driving many species of these big fish to the brink of extinction, a marine conservation group said Tuesday.

Protection for 2 shark species fails at UN meeting

March 23, 2010

(AP) -- Asian nations on Tuesday blocked U.S.-backed proposals to protect the heavily fished hammerhead and oceanic whitetip sharks on concerns that regulating the booming trade in fins could hurt poor coastal nations.

Majestic manta ray designated vulnerable species

November 15, 2011

Diving with the majestic manta ray is an eco-tourist’s dream come true that may soon be experienced only by viewing pictures and videos of the shark family’s graceful giants.

Shark rules need teeth, groups tell IUCN

September 4, 2012

The Wildlife Conservation Society and over 35 government agency and NGO partners participating in IUCN's World Conservation Congress this week are urging the world's governments to take urgent steps to save the world's sharks ...

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Why a mutant rice called Big Grain1 yields such big grains

August 24, 2015

(Phys.org)—Rice is one of the most important staple crops grown by humans—very possibly the most important in history. With 4.3 billion inhabitants, Asia is home to 60 percent of the world's population, so it's unsurprising ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.